In positive response to requests received from the Bhutanese government, India has made special trade concessions on the export of wheat and sugar to the country, the Indian Embassy in Bhutan has said. “Responding to requests received from the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Government of India has made additional trade concessions for Bhutan. In a special gesture, India has permitted the export of wheat and sugar to Bhutan as per the requirements of the Bhutan i.e. 5,000 MT of wheat and 10,000 MT of sugar, which will be imported by the Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited and other leading industries in Bhutan,” the embassy said.
Earlier this year, due to sudden changes in the global market affecting the price and availability of wheat and sugar, the Indian government restricted the export of these two commodities to boost India’s food security. In line with the special and friendly relations with Bhutan, the Government of India has responded positively to the requests received from the Royal Government of Bhutan regarding wheat and sugar.
Previously, India had extended various trade concessions to Bhutan including lifting the restriction on importing potatoes only from Bhutan, allowing the import of wholly produced fresh ginger from Bhutan, supplying fertilizer nano-urea/nano-nitrogen (liquid) in Bhutan at a special preferential rate. , and supply coal to Bhutan. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and disruptions to global supply chains, India has extended its cooperation and support to Bhutan to ensure smooth flow of goods during this time.
“Our close trade and economic ties reflect the exceptionally close and friendly relationship between India and Bhutan that has existed for decades. Given this special relationship, despite global supply chain disruptions and shortages of various commodities India has decided to accommodate Bhutan’s special demands,” he added. The Embassy added that the government and people of India are strongly committed to the long-term well-being and prosperity of the government and people of Bhutan.
India and Bhutan share a unique and time-tested bilateral relationship characterized by utmost trust, goodwill and mutual understanding. Compared to other bilateral relations in India’s neighborhood, relations with Bhutan are relatively smooth and cordial. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were officially established in 1968 with the appointment of a Resident Representative of India in the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu. India House (Embassy of India in Bhutan) was inaugurated on 14 May 1968 and resident representatives were exchanged in 1971.
Relations at the ambassadorial level started with the upgrading of residents to embassies in 1978. The basis of bilateral relations between India and Bhutan is formed by the Indo-Bhutanese Treaty of 1949, which provides, among other things, “peace and perpetual friendship, free trade and commerce and equal justice between the citizens of each other.” This relationship becomes even more important as four Indian states, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Sikkim and West Bengal, share a 699 kilometer long border with Bhutan. India is important to Bhutan in multiple ways. It is Bhutan’s largest trading partner – both as a source and as a market for its goods.
As a landlocked country, most of Bhutan’s exports to third countries also pass through Indian ports. Similarly, Bhutan is also important for India. Bhutan was one of the first nations to recognize independence from India in 1947. India regards Nepal and Bhutan as important borders in its Himalayan foreign policy of mutual trust and cooperation. (ANI)
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